Anyway, I was in the garden section at Squalmart and was admiring one of these plants. A guy was passing by and commented that it looked like a healthy one. I said I hadn’t seen one in a store or nursery for ages and then I looked at the label and remarked , laughing, “I see they don’t call them wandering jews anymore”. He kind of laughed and proceeded to tell me “it’s just like how we’re not allowed to call Goliath Grouper “Jew Fish” anymore. They called them that because they’d always steal your bait”
All I could really say is “good to know”.:dubious:
Let me preface this by saying I’m not particularly offended but I don’t think they’re really the same. And I can see how someone could be quite offended so why on earth this guy thought making a crack like that to a perfect stranger was a good idea I cannot imagine. Of course, I commented first about the name of the plant but again, not the same thing.
What do you all think? Also, why did these plants disappear for so long? Do they still call them Wandering Jews elsewhere? I had no problem finding them online under that name.
Sinc “Wandering Jew” is based on an anti-Semitic legend, it’s not surprising that common name for the plant/genus has fallen out of favor.
“Jewfish” also has ugly connotations.
“The descriptions of jewfish by Ogilby and Jordan quoted above make it obvious to us. The physical and behavioral characteristics mentioned by them are ones that many jewfishes share: large size, stout body, ugly head with a large mouth, dull color, and sedentary behavior, yet with voracious feeding habits.”
I also know the name of the weed, so seeing the clarification in the title didn’t surprise me.
Naming a weed that’s cursed to wander the garden and not die, after a similarly cursed Semitic villain seems a natural association to me, and yes of course it’s offensive to anybody who associates the term with real people.
And it is a weed. All the worst weeds are nice-looking garden plants.
Wait. So what are the calling this plant now? It’s always been Wandering Jew for as long as I’ve known. Is it just “spiderwort” now? Or “Tradescantia” (which seems to be a genus name for several related plants)?